David Layton: Part of the family that founded The Economist, David had himself founded Incomes Data Services (IDS) - and now wanted to do something in the environmental world. The result: Environmental Data Services (ENDS). A profound influence in terms of how to write for a business audience.
Sir Winston Churchill: An Englishman to be proud of. His 6-volume History of the Second World War sits on my shelves waiting to be read, if and when I ever retire. A distant cousin, I found his life story and speeches incredibly inspiring. An even greater honour, then, to have been awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 1981, which among other things resulted in my book Sun Traps.
Georgina McAughtry and Marek Mayer: Georgina was at Environmental Data Services (ENDS) from the outset, while we found Marek through Elaine knowing the novelist Sue Gee, later his wife. When I began to unhook in the early 1980s, aided by the Churchill Fellowship, Marek and Georgina evolved ENDS into an organisation I am enormously proud to have been involved with.
Sir Peter Scott: I met him first when he was one of the judges when I was interviewing for my Churchill Fellowship and later when we had produced The Green Consumer Guide. I can't pass his statue at the nearby Barnes Wildlife Centre without feeling a huge surge of affection and gratitude. Peter and Max Nicholson were both involved in setting up WWF.
Nigel Tuersley: Founder of the Earthlife Foundation, Nigel was a consummate entrepreneur. Earthlife pioneered in areas that most other NGOs took years to get into. Although Earthlife eventually crashed, it was like a neutron star, spraying rare, life-promoting elements through the rest of its universe. One thing the experience taught me, however, was that rapid growth can be dangerous.
Gus Speth: I met Gus at the 1984 World Industry Conference on Environmental Management (WICEM), in Versailles. Later, as president of the World Resources Institute (WRI), he commissioned a series of reports we did on the implications of biotechnology, information technology and advanced waste management technology.
Denis Hayes: A co-founder of Earth Day in 1970, I first met Denis when he was at the Worldwatch Institute, then again - on my 1981 Churchill Fellowship travels - when he was director of the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI), in Golden, Colorado. Almost a decade later, he invited me to join the international board for Earth Day 1990, an experience which helped broaden our international connections.
Kay Elkington: My father's stepmother, Kay was also my godmother. She long provided a peaceful refuge for family holidays in Solva, Dyfed.
Tom Burke: I met Tom when he was still executive director of Friends of the Earth in the UK. Later he contributed to The Green Capitalists and Green Pages, and was a co-founder of SustainAbility, introducing us to Dorothy Mackenzie.
Helen Holdaway: I first met Helen, and Timothy Cantell, when they were running the environmental section at the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). The RSA played a key role in sustaining environmental thinking through the 1980s, co-hosting the UK Conservation and Development Programme (a response to the World Conservation Strategy), for which I wrote the Industry report. Later, Helen I were both trustees of The Environment Foundation. Then she became Director and I became Chairman. Having won a victory against the Charity Commissioners to get sustainable development recognised as a charitable objective, the Foundation celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2003. Helen stood down as Director after the November Consultation. I will miss her enormously.
Jonathan Shopley: Jonathan arrived on our Barnes doorstep late in 1983, 20 years ago, after riding from South Africa to London on a motorcycle that looked like something out of Mad Max. He worked with us at John Elkington Associates (including co-authoring two of the WRI reports mentioned above) and Earthlife, remains a close friend, and now runs Future Forests. When I was doing this section and asked him when he arrived, he replied: "I arrived in the UK in September 1983, and probably took a month or two to get settled and make the JE connection. I had been researching opportunities in the UK, and on one particular day came across your name in three or four different places (The Guardian, Science Reference Library, bookshop where your books were selling, conversation with someone) and I decided I had to meet you. I had Jack [Jonathan's father] send me my suit from South Africa for our appointment, and I pitched up at Cambridge Road all smart and formal - and your girls answered the door-bell and immediately flung their arms around me, and made me feel very welcome from the first instant."